Wasted food is a big issue — an enormous one, really, when you consider that nearly half the food produced in the US goes to landfills. In a world where we’re frequently at odds with policy proposals coming out of Washington, this release from the EPA was a rare bit of good news, so we’re sharing it as is, unedited.
EPA, USDA, and FDA Unveil Formal Strategy to Reduce Food Waste, Bring State and Local Partners Together to Increase Collaboration
This week, as part of the Trump Administration’s Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the release of a federal interagency strategy to address food waste. The agencies held an event at EPA headquarters on April 9th to hear from state, local and community leaders and other stakeholders on how all levels of government can work together to reduce food waste.
The interagency strategy announced at the event, Winning on Reducing Food Waste Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy, includes six key priority areas the agencies will work together on over the next year:
- Enhance Interagency Coordination
- Increase Consumer Education and Outreach Efforts
- Improve Coordination and Guidance on Food Loss and Waste Measurement
- Clarify and Communicate Information on Food Safety, Food Date Labels, and Food Donations
- Collaborate with Private Industry to Reduce Food Loss and Waste Across the Supply Chain
- Encourage Food Waste Reduction by Federal Agencies in their Respective Facilities
Event attendees heard remarks from Administrator Wheeler, Secretary Perdue, and Deputy Commissioner Yiannas. A panel discussion titled “Lessons Learned from States, Cities, and Organizations in Reducing Wasted Food” was followed by an information exchange among all participants on specific community efforts to reduce food waste and additional support needed to advance state, and local initiatives.
In addition, state and local leaders signed a pledge to work together with federal partners to build new or upon existing efforts to address food loss and waste in the U.S. We hope this pledge will be the first step in more formal coordination with these critical partners. At the event, the agencies also announced a joint agreement signed between the agencies and ReFED, Inc. to better evaluate and improve upon strategies to reduce food loss and waste.
For more information, check out our Resources and Possible Funding Opportunities Related to the Food System web page here: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/resources-and-possible-funding-opportunities-related-food-system.
U.S. EPA Excess Food Opportunities Map Updated
EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Program is proud to announce the release of Version 2.0 of the Excess Food Opportunities Map. This new version of the map includes several updated generator data sets and a new Restaurants and Food Services data set. The addition of the new sector doubles the number of generators in the map to over one million. In addition to the generator updates, the composting facility data set was also updated and now includes composting facilities in 49 states and one territory.
Visit the Excess Food Opportunities Map website to learn more about the map and to access a user guide and the technical methodology: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/excess-food-opportunities-map.
We hope you find this resource useful and are always working to improve our products. Contact us at SMMFood@epa.gov with any feedback.
EPA to Award $110,000 to Food Waste Management and Infrastructure Projects
This week, EPA announced that the City of Madison, Wisconsin, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Washington State University’s Energy Program have been selected to receive funding for projects to help reduce food waste and loss and divert food waste from landfills by expanding anaerobic digester capacity in the United States. These projects further the federal government’s efforts set forth in the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative.
To read more about the specific projects, check out https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-award-110000-food-waste-management-and-infrastructure-projects.
Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Announces the Food Matters Action Kit
The CEC launched the Food Matters Action Kit, a youth engagement toolkit containing activities designed for youth across North America to prevent food waste in their homes and communities. These 20 activities are arranged for two age groups, one for kids, ages 5-13 and another for youth, ages 14-25. Individuals, teams of friends or clubs and organizations can register to document their achievements, earn shareable Food Waste Hero badges and challenge others at www.cec.org/FoodMattersActionKit.
This work is the culmination of almost two years of trilateral work with the United States, Canada, and Mexico and the close collaboration with key stakeholders from youth-based community associations, academic and educational institutions, the charitable sector and Indigenous youth groups. A webinar will also be hosted later this spring/summer to showcase some of the activities youth organizations have completed using this new tool!